“A lot of the challenge is understanding what we as a species should do, because the disasters are getting more prevalent. In the last hundred years, both in human and financial costs, damages are skyrocketing. Most of that is just more people living in dangerous places, but climate change will be more of a factor as time goes on.”
The SEDAC Hazards Mapper is designed for disaster risk managers, humanitarian response organizations, public health professionals, journalists and others needing a quick assessment of the potential dangers posed by a major hazardous event or developing emergency.
Even the simplest research questions can lead to far-reaching public benefits. Consider Chris Small and Joel Cohen’s study of global population by altitude, being honored this week at the Library of Congress.
Lamont’s Einat Lev and Elise Rumpf write about their expedition to the lava fields of Iceland, where the two volcanologists and a drone named Buzz studied how lava flows and what happens to rivers, rocks and old lava in its path.
The storm tracks define the weather and climate in mid-latitudes. A recent workshop in Switzerland highlighted the important role that clouds play for the response of the storm tracks to climate change.
New York, New Orleans, Charlottetown and Everywhere Else
The disaster in New Orleans was almost uniquely awful in modern American history. But even if Katrina isn’t likely to happen everywhere, something can happen almost anywhere—including, we now know, New York. And further to the north and east.
The U.S. Gulf Coast has already felt the lasting effects of extreme weather on public health and infrastructure, and a new study says things could get worse with climate change.
In his new book “The Disaster Profiteers,” Earth Institute professor John Mutter argues that natural disasters are bad for the poor–and can be great for the rich, who often seize resources meant for recovery, when no one is looking.
“Drought affects the economy, water supply, lifestyle, and agricultural productivity. The downstream consequences on humans that are facing these threats, including loss of jobs and daily lifestyle challenges, become overwhelming.”